The Vermont Economy

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House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, center, says Vermont lawmakers will consider numerous bills next year that would give Vermonters more recourse when their personal data is hacked.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont lawmakers say they’ll try to put new safeguards on residents’ personal data in the next session, after the massive security breach at Equifax earlier this year.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A new report says the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor could be used for transitional housing for inmates from around the state who have served out their terms but who can't find a place to live in Vermont's tight housing market.

The Burlington City Council voted to postpone their vote to select the buyer for Burlington Telecom. The council will take up the issue in a week.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

After a four and a half hour meeting, the Burlington City Council decided to postpone selecting a buyer for Burlington Telecom.

Hailshadow / iStock

A new report finds that the number of people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, due to mental illness has been increasing.

In Burlington, the next operator of the city's municipal telecom company could be chosen tonight.

There are two finalists looking to buy Burlington Telecom: Tucows, a Toronto-based company and Keep BT Local – a cooperative formed with the purpose of buying Burlington Telecom.

In this file photo from 2014, signs are seen in the office of Mike Spillane of IBEW that describe past labor actions. On this "Vermont Edition," we're talking about the state's labor history and unions today.
Steve Zind / VPR File

Roughly one in 10 employed Vermonters belong to a union, and nearly half of those jobs are in public sectors like government and teaching. The role of organized labor has changed dramatically in recent decades, with union jobs declining in Vermont and nationwide. But organized labor, and how employers have responded to it, has profoundly shaped Vermont's history and culture.

Ryan Christiansen of Caledonia Spirits, Ben Whitcomb of the North Williston Cattle Company, Lisa Lorimer, former owner of the Vermont Bread Company, Allison Hooper, former owner of Vermont Creamery and Charles Storey of Harpoon Brewery spoke on a panel.
Nina Keck / vpr

Nearly a third of Vermont farms are run by someone over age 65, and according to a recent study by Land for Good, 91 percent of them don’t have someone younger ready to take over.

Joe Giancola, a prominent Rutland developer shakes hands with R. John Mitchell in front of former headquarters of the Rutland Herald. The Mitchell family owned the newspaper and the building that housed it for decades.
Nina Keck / VPR

Long time Rutland Developer Joe Giancola was the high bidder Friday morning when the historic headquarters of the Rutland Herald and several adjoining properties were auctioned off for $600,000 dollars.

John Cotter, Margaret Cheney and Tom Knauer, from left, of the Public Utility Commission. On Thursday, a legislative panel approved the commission's proposal for stricter sound limits for wind turbines.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

In approving stricter sound limits for ridgeline wind turbines Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules has managed to upset both sides on the wind energy debate.

A recent review of public retirement and healthcare plans by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that many U.S. jurisdictions are on an unsustainable path.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two Townshend doctors are changing their practice over to a direct primary care model, where patients will pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited primary care. The Vermont doctors hope it will address the challenges of a changing health care insurance industry.

Mike Stewart / AP

Millions of Americans were only vaguely aware of the credit bureau Equifax until earlier this month, when the company revealed that the personal data of more than 147 million people was exposed in a massive data hack.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

What do the Vermont companies King Arthur Flour, Gardener's Supply, PC Construction, and Switchback Brewing have in common? They're all employee-owned businesses.

Signage in front of a soon-to-be Target in 2013. The first Vermont store, to be located in the University Mall in South Burlington, has attracted strong feelings from Vermonters.
shaunl / iStock

Reactions to the news that Target will be opening its first Vermont store have been all over the place. Some are lamenting the arrival of another "big box store," while others are barely able express their joy in words — instead relying on strings of celebratory emojis.

Kyle Gruter-Curham grows 6 acres of hemp in Irasburg. He says if lawmakers allowed it, he could add marijuana to his crops as early as next spring.
Emily Corwin / VPR

Vermont's handful of medical marijuana dispensaries have exclusive permission to grow and sell marijuana in the state.  If and when lawmakers legalize non-medical weed, they will likely have a head start on a very profitable industry.

Courtesy

Target has signed a lease to open a "small-format store" in South Burlington on Dorset Street.

For the last decade or more, my neighbor Walter has hosted an Annual Apple Squeeze on the Saturday of October’s long holiday weekend.

In the wake of an investigative report by The Washington Post and "60 Minutes," Rep. Peter Welch is calling for congressional investigations into the effects of legislation he co-sponsored in 2015.

An image from one of several 30-second ads Mondo Mediaworks has created as part of a $200,000 marketing campaign to attract new residents to Rutland County.
screenshot, Mondo Mediaworks video

Thirty-second ads touting Rutland have begun to air on cable TV networks in Burlington and Plattsburgh, Boston and Hartford and even Rutland.

Supporters of Keep BT Local came out in droves to the Burlington City Council meeting Monday to voice their support for the co-op's bid to buy Burlington Telecom. The council advanced the bids of Tuecows/Ting and Keep BT Local.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Burlington City Council voted Monday night to advance the bids of Keep BT Local and Ting  in the process to buy Burlington Telecom.

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